SINGAPORE: About 900 households have been fined for mosquito breeding as of May this year, said the National Environment Agency (NEA) as it called for a "national collective effort" to tackle the high number of dengue cases in Singapore.
More than 372,000 inspections were carried out islandwide between January and May this year and about 6,500 instances of mosquito breeding habitats were uncovered, said NEA in a media statement on Sunday (Jun 23).
During the same period, the proportion of breeding detected in homes in cluster areas was 74 per cent, much higher than the national average of 60 per cent.
The highest proportion was 85 per cent at a cluster around Woodlands Avenue 6, Woodlands Circle, Woodlands Crescent, Woodlands Drive 60, Woodlands Drive 70 and Woodlands Drive 72.
NEA was notified to 199 cases in this cluster, and found instances of mosquito breeding in pails, bowls and plastic containers.
Singapore has seen a surge in dengue cases this year with a total of 5,184 cases so far as of Jun 15.
This is about four times the 1,242 dengue cases in the same period last year.
Earlier this month, an 84-year-old woman died from dengue in the fifth fatal case this year.
The number of cases of dengue haemorrhagic fever is also at a high of 41 cases, said NEA.
The number of active dengue clusters has also more than doubled in the past month to 112 (as of Jun 17).
The upward trend in the number of dengue cases comes following two years of low dengue case numbers, said the agency, adding that the upward trend can be seen across the island.
"While there are certain geographical clusters which accounted for the bulk of the increase in dengue cases, such as at Woodlands, Geylang, Jalan Lembah Thomson and Chai Chee, there has been a general uptrend in dengue cases across the island," it said. "The dengue transmission is therefore not localised, and everyone has to be alert to the threat."
There has also been an increase in the number of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, with NEA's Gravitrap surveillance system showing an increase in the Aedes aegypti mosquito population since March, said the agency.
There was a 56 per cent increase detected by the system in May compared to March, it said.
The "persistently high" Aedes aegypti mosquito population increases the risk of transmission of the dengue virus, said the agency, adding that urgent action is needed to eliminate potential mosquito breeding habitats in the community.